When the Left was sane
Last weekend's Australian by-election for a New South Wales State electorate - Upper Hunter in a flourishing coal and wine-growing region north of Sydney - has again put the focus on the future of Australia's major "Left" party, the Australian Labor Party.
Labor suffered big swings in coal mining areas, which follows on from big swings against Labor in mining areas of NSW and Queensland at the 2019 federal election. Things are so unsettled that some - and I mean serious, reputable commentators and Labor officials - are now openly wondering if Labor is on the way out permanently.
It is possible, because there is little doubt it is increasingly disconnected from mainstream voters and, arguably, even from social and scientific reality. It is definitely captured by what has become known as the "woke" phenomenon, which is basically "political correctness" on steroids. Fundamentalist feminism is also rampant.
As a result Labor's primary vote - Australia has preferential voting, which means people's second and third, etc, choices are counted if their candidate is not one of the top two candidates - is now usually in the low to mid 30s (%), as opposed to being always in the 40s for most of the 20th century. Labor increasingly depends on smaller party preferences to hold seats and survive. It is not the first choice of increasing numbers of voters.
The policy, social and scientific insanity that has engulfed the Labor Party is recent, but has been coming for some time.
There was a time when the Australian Labor Party was one of the most sane Left political operations in the world. It successfully resisted Loony Left ideas and movements - especially Communism - for decades. That level of resistance has been worn down and it is now in the grip of various Loony Left ideas and operatives. Many of its key personnel at present cannot be described as anything but "Loony Left". This is particularly true of a good percentage of its current women.
In 2014 I edited and wrote a major labour movement document, in response to Liberal (in Australia the main conservative party is called the Liberal Party) Prime Minister Tony Abbott's first budget. It was a controversial and uneven budget, which set the stage for his ultimate downfall as prime minister.
This document is an example of what it was like when the Left was sane and concentrated on reality and the issues that matter.